|Language:||Georgian is the official language. In the west of the country Mengrelian and Svan are also spoken. Abkhazia and South Ossetia each have their own languages. Russian is universally understood except by some of the young, but they usually speak English instead.|
|Currency:||Lari ( GEL )|
|Hitchability:||<rating country='ge' />|
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|<map lat='42.277' lng='43.824' zoom='6' view='3'/>|
Georgia is a country in Western Asia, that borders Turkey, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia. Two part of Georgia in the North, Abkhazia and South Ossetia are de facto independent countries though few nations recognize their independence.
Hitching in Georgia is easy most of the time! Short waits and very friendly people. Road conditions in some places are quite bad so it can take some time but in most of cases there are renovated roads. Spots are very easy to find, just head in the right direction and you will find a suitable place to stand. Sometimes if luck isn't on your side though and you may have to wait for a while and the only cars who will stop for you are marshrutkas (microbuses) which expect payment. But remain patient! Eventually someone will stop for you.
Unlike most European countries, usually no one cares if you hitchhike directly on highways, so it's not a problem to find a spot.
Older generations speak Russian as a foreign language, but people in their twenties and younger are able to speak more English, at least in the bigger cities. In villages even youngsters might only speak Georgian but in the last couple of years many young people from English-speaking countries have been sent to the villages to teach English. A few phrases of Russian will be handy or with a little extra effort people will be amazed if you know some Georgian.
The Georgian hospitality is incredible and the most remarkable experience in this country but sometimes also a small risk as it can become a little bit pushing from time to time. Refusing alcohol can be offending for some people (if there is another person next to the driver in the car the chances are very high that the famous national drink chacha is offered to you) and if you are vegetarian, there could be a similar problem. If you're traveling as a couple, try not to be too affectionate in public places, as some people are extremely conservative and can be offended by this, and drunk guys may try to fight you (this happened to one hitchhiker after kissing his girlfriend on a marshrutka).
- Kvemo Kartli
- South Ossetia
- Tbilisi, the capital, also known as Tiflis
There are three open border crossings between turkey and Georgia. The faster and easier for hitchhike is the one close to Batumi. It can be very convenient for you even if you are going or coming from south east of Turkey.
Using police cars
In Georgia it is possible to "hitchhike" with police cars. Due to the country's desire to become more European, a major reform of the police was undertaken, affecting also the way the police work and deal with people. You should not be afraid of asking policeman for information or help. Most probably they will help you and even more. You may not even need to ask, as it's not uncommon for police cars in Georgia to pick up hitchhikers, and then pull over other cars or trucks on the road to find a ride going straight to your destination.
The police also provide a special type of service - they can deliver you to the address you are asking - for people who are in a position to be harmed or injured, for example when you are a foreigner and traveling alone in Georgia. They can bring you to the address you name or to a hotel. Keep in mind that you will have to fill out and sign a form. It is recommended to use this service in the evenings and nights.